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Falklands : LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY THURSDAY, 22 AUGUST 2013 Part 1 Questions, Motions and Some Legislation
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 24.08.2013 (Article Archived on 21.09.2013)

A meeting of Legislative Assembly took place at 0930hrs on Thursday, 22 August 2013 in the Court and Assembly Chambers of the Town Hall. Present were Simon Fletcher, Acting Chief Executive, Mrs Nicola Granger, Financial Secretary, Mrs Claudette Anderson-prior, Clerk of Council, MLAs Cheek, Edwards, Halford, Hansen, Sawle, Summers and Short. Dr Elsby was away. Also away was the Speaker. The Hon Mr Keith Biles is away and his deputy, the Hon Mr Richard Cockwell was ill.





LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY THURSDAY, 22 AUGUST 2013



Part 1 Questions, Motions and Some Legislation



 



A meeting of Legislative Assembly
took place at 0930hrs on Thursday, 22 August 2013 in the Court and Assembly
Chambers of the Town Hall.  Present were
Simon Fletcher, Acting Chief Executive, Mrs Nicola Granger, Financial
Secretary, Mrs Claudette Anderson-prior, Clerk of Council, MLAs Cheek, Edwards,
Halford, Hansen, Sawle, Summers and Short. 
Dr Elsby was away.  Also away was
the Speaker.  The Hon Mr Keith Biles is
away and his deputy, the Hon Mr Richard Cockwell was ill.



 



Prayers were said by Dr, the Rev Richard
Hines of Christ Church Cathedral. 



 



As a Speaker was needed, a
nomination was held amongst the MLAs and MLA Halford was chosen as Acting
Speaker.



 



SH:
 Thank you Honourable members for nominating me
today to take the seat as the first MLA, I believe, and also the first female
Deputy Speaker in this House and I sit here today alongside our first female
Clerk.  So we have history in the
making. 



 



The Acting Chief Executive, Simon
Fletcher, took the oath of allegiance and received a Legislative Assembly tie.



 



The confirmation of the record of
the sitting of the legislative Assembly held on the 25th of July
2013 was held with the addition of some proposed amendments to the record.



 



On page 8 the 5th
paragraph should be removed as that is repeated text.  And on Page 10, the penultimate line of
Paragraph 3, the word ‘but’ should be changed to read ‘what’ and the word ‘not’
should be changed to read the word ‘what.’ 
The Deputy Speaker signed the record as amended of the record of the 25
July 2013 meeting.



 



The Acting
Chief Executive then laid the following papers on the table:



 



1.    
Copies
of subsidiary legislation published in the Falkland Islands Gazette since the
last siting of the Legislative Assembly and laid on the table pursuant to
Section 31.1 of the interpretation and General Clauses ordinance 1977.



a.   
Road
Ordinance Taxi Drivers’ Permits Order 2013



b.   
Taxes
and Duties Defence Contractors Employees Exemption Order 2013



c.   
Minimum
Wage Initial Rates order  2013



d.   
Minimum
Wage Calculation of Hours Worked Regulations 2013



e.   
Minimum
Wage Calculation of Amounts Paid Regulations 2013



 



2.    
And
In Accordance with Section 80.2 of the Constitution the reports of the Public
Accounts Committee in respect of the Accounts for the year ended 30 June 2012
for:



a.   
The
Falkland Islands Meat Company



b.   
The
Falkland islands Museum and National Trust



c.   
The
media Trust



d.   
The
Falkland Islands Tourist Board



e.   
Falkland
Landholdings Limited



 



Questions for
Oral Answer:



 



Question
No 14/13 by the Hon Mr Gavin Short



 



GS: Would the
Honourable Jan Cheek please advise this House what are the current waiting
times to get an appointment to see a GP please?



 



JC:  Madam Speaker, Honourable Members, the formal
answer that I am giving on behalf of the Honourable Sharon Halford who is
otherwise occupied this morning is that: The
situation on Tuesday, 06 August at 10 O’clock with regard to patient telephone
reception that morning was that the next available appointment to see a GP was
Monday, 12 August – 4 working days - and that is to see any GP, not a specific
GP.  However, I thought I would check
this morning and see what the situation was. 
At 9 O’clock this morning if you were willing to see any available
doctor, you could get an appointment on Monday, 26th August, which
is less than four working days, however, I asked choosing two doctors at
random, asking for a specific doctors and some of those people have to wait
until the 2nd of September. 
So the answer is if you are really ill and in a hurry then agree to see
any doctor.  Don’t be choosy.



 



Thank
you.



 



GS:  I thank the Honourable Jan Cheek for her
reply.  Of course these questions have to
be put in some weeks in advance hence the grievance causing the problem that I
became aware of may well have cleared itself. 
Thank you for your reply.



 



Motions:



 



Motion
No 8/13 by the Honourable Mr Dick Sawle:



 



That this House accepts the
response of Executive Council on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on
the report from Mazars on review of recruitment and selection costs between
financial years 2006/7 and 2010/11.



 



DS:  Madam Speaker, I would like to preface my
comments with thanks, once again, to the Public Accounts Committee for their
preparation of this report.  And whilst
it is a little bit lengthy, I do think for the benefit of the Public it is best
to go through the recommendations and how Government has accepted or otherwise
those recommendations.  There were, in
fact, eight recommendations in total. 
Three of those are not accepted, one is accepted in principle and four
were completely accepted.



 



The Assembly should also be aware
of the following general comments regarding the report.  The report does contain some
inaccuracies.  The report incorrectly
states that all candidate recruitment needs approval by EXCO.  The creation or amendment of the establishment
requires EXCO approval I.E. posts within the establishment is a matter for the
Chief Executive which is the Head of the Civil Service.  And to a large respect this has been
delegated to departments with the Governor’s approval for Director’s posts.  The report states that HR is involved in all
short-listing, assuming the recruiting department has undertaken HR provided
recruitment and selection training and HR are not necessarily involved in the
short-listing.  HR do provide a quality
assurance review before an appointment is made.



 



The comments regarding allocation
of costs between financial years are ambiguous as no issues have been raised in
this regard by Mazars LLP, who are also commissioned by the PAC to undertake
this review during their external audits FIG financial statements.



 



No member of the Treasury was
contacted during this audit and it is possible that Mazars LLP were reviewing
cash transactions rather than resource for accrual transactions.



 



Turning to the response to the
recommendations, recommendation 1 from the PAC says “We recommend that HR should have the responsibility for a central
recruitment budget or alternatively charge costs back to the respective
departments, thus ensuring consistency of what and how costs are allocated
giving a clear indication of how much it has cost to recruit for each post.”

  



 



The report details that different
departments allocate recruitment costs in different ways.  This is not accurate as all costs purely
relating to recruitment are allocated to one vote code – 0335 – Recruitment
Costs across all departments.  The accuracy
of this is monitored by the Treasury. 
The different allocation referred to arises when the departments may be
overseas for multiple reasons, for example, where recruitment is organised to
be undertaken at the same time as an annual contract flight is taken or
alongside business meetings in the UK.



 



In this case the flight would be
allocated to the passages vote.  This
prevents the unnecessary splitting of small invoices between multiple votes.  Whilst this prevents an over-all view of
recruitment costs being taken, the multiple use of an officer’s time is
pro-active and one that FIG seeks to encourage.



 



The recommendation that HR have
the responsibility for a central recruitment budget goes against FIG’s
devolvement of Financial Management and Human Resources Departments.  By removing the responsibility of the budget
away from departments, it divorces departments from the risks and therefore
could result in less efficient decision making. 



 



This recommendation therefore is
not accepted.  However, it is suggested
that instead HR provide a set of guidelines for departments on the expectation
of the costs that may be incurred in recruiting.



 



Recommendation Two: That PAC recommends the introduction of an
online application form, which should speed up the process of getting forms out
to applicants but consideration should be given to allowing CVs to be sent in
the first instance, especially for difficult to fill roles.  CVs are already accepted at the discretion of
the Recruiting Manager.  This will
therefore continue and in future recruitment packs will indicate, a, whether
the Recruiting manager is content to
accept
CVs and b, where one is provided must, as a minimum, cover the same information
as is asked for in the Application form or it might not be accepted for
short-listing.



 



It is anticipated that online
application forms will be introduced with the refresh of the Government Website,
which is currently underway.  That
recommendation is therefore accepted.



 



Recommendation Three:  We
recommend the use of Skype or Video Link for first interviews.  Skype and/or video conferencing facilities
are already used wherever possible and an agreement is in place with Cable
& Wireless to achieve this. 



 



Or I should say SURE – my
apologies.  Where appropriate these
facilities will continue to be used. That recommendation is therefore agreed in
principle.



 



Recommendation Four:  We
recommend the HR Team explore the greater use of online job websites as well as
social networking sites such as Twitter, Linked-in etc as more and more leading
recruiters use these sites, which lowers the cost.



 



Online job advertising is used
whenever appropriate.  HR will continue
to review possibilities for expansion of this media.  This recommendation is therefore accepted.



 



Recommendation Five:  We
endorse the development of the Islands’ own website which should include
specific recruitment pages.



 



Agreed.  The website will include a recruitment
section.  The recommendation is therefore
accepted.



 



Recommendation Six:  We
recommend that the HR Team foster the links with groups such as the Armed
Forces Resettlement Bureau.  And
consideration could also be given to the circulation of contract opportunities
throughout other European countries.



 



FIG will continue to create and
foster positive working relationships with any organisation such as those
listed both locally and overseas which can provide FIG with greater access to
vital applicants to vacant posts.  Non-UK
markets are circulated for posts where this is considered a viable option.  That recommendation is therefore accepted.



 



Recommendation Seven:  We
recommend strongly that a general recruitment DVD is commissioned.  This could then be reproduced and copies sent
out at minimal costs to prospective candidates. 
It should bring to life the images, the facts and figures currently set
out in the document form.



 



FIG do not believe in the benefits
of a specific recruitment DVD for FIG outweigh the costs.  However, FIG will continue to identify better
ways to promote the Islands to potential applicants across FIG and the wider
community.  This recommendation is
therefore not accepted.



 



Recommendation Eight:  We recommend
that FIG consider taking on a principle agent. 
This organisation would be required to invest the time and fully
understanding the Islands’ recruitment requirements and to appoint and manage
other agents.



 



FIG do not believe that the
appointment of a principle recruitment agent would achieve better value for
money than the current structure.  Such
an appointment would likely increase expenditure with no guarantee of a
reduction in standard recruitment costs or guaranteed results.  FIG believes that as much success has been
had with direct advertising as through the use of recruitment agents.  This recommendation is therefore not
accepted.  However training will shortly
be given to all recruiting managers to seek to improve recruitment across FIG
and consideration will be given to how the Falkland Islands Government Office
in London can be used more readily to promote recruitment opportunities.



 



I therefore propose…



 



The Honourable Mrs Jan Cheek
seconded the Motion.



 



SH:  The Motion is: That this House accepts the
response of Executive Council on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on
the report from Mazars on review of recruitment and selection costs between
financial years 2006/7 and 2010/11. 



 



There was no objective to the
Motion and it was passed accordingly.



 



Orders of the
Day – Bills



 



The
Supplementary Appropriation 2012/13 Number 3 Bill 2013:



 



The Bill had not been published in
the Gazette and required a first reading.



 



The Hon Mrs Nicola Granger,
Financial Secretary, proposed the Motion and the Acting Chief Executive the Hon
Mr Simon Fletcher seconded the Motion.



 



NG:  Madam Speaker, Honourable members, this is
the fifth and final Supplementary Appropriation Bill to be presented for the
2012/13 financial year.  Its purpose is
to authorise the withdrawal of the additional sum of £7,830,000.00 from the
Consolidated Fund to meet supplementary expenditure approved by Standing
Finance Committee on the 26th of June 2013. 



 



The supplementary expenditure was
approved to enable further transfers to special funds.  The first of these transfers is £7,000,000.00
into the Capital Equalisation Fund.



 



This is to top up the fund
following the approval of a five-year capital programme for £39.8 Million.  This (inaudible but sounded like ‘spring to
the cause’) Capital Programmes and the transfer till ensure that the Capital
Equalisation Fund balance is maintained at a sufficient level.



 



The second transfer is £830,000.00
into the Retirement Pension Fund.  During
the last budget cycle FIG implemented a number of measures to reduce the
deficit in this fund.  One of these was
to increase the FIG subsidy into the scheme to cover the difference between the
contribution rate proposed by the actuary and the rate set by FIG.  The proposed rate is linked to the Retirement
pension Weekly payment, which was increased during the budget.  This transfer will therefore cover the
increased contribution gap resulting from this decision.



 



I beg to move that the Bill be
read a second time.



 



The Hon Mr Simon Fletcher seconded
the Motion.  The Bill was dealt with by
the Short Procedure and passed.

 

(100X Transcription Service)



 

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